Controversial French Anti-Smoking Campaign
The French are very open-minded when it comes to sex. They are also open-minded in advertising. But in this case the controversy is very big and they say things have gone too far. This commercial doesn’t just evoke oral sex but it even depicts it. And these images have as target the young people that should be persuaded into non-smoking.
Now the family groups, the organizations for woman’s rights and of course the bloggers have joined the team of Nicolas Sarkozy‘s conservative government and they object to what Nadine Morano says, the Secretary of State for Family Affairs. She said the “public outrage to decency” are vowed to ban.
So this Wednesday, the Association of French Families have given an official complaint to the national advertising regulators and they are accusing this campaign of violating the ethic rules.
This all happens because these posters show a man and a woman who look like they are in their teens, kneeling before a fully clothed adult male. In the pictures a cigarette dangles from the young person’s mouth and it extends to the men’s pants disappearing there. Below this pictures it’s also said: “Smoking Means Being a Slave to Tobacco.”
So no matter the anti-smoking message, the public says that these ads are offensive and they are of a very bad taste. Monday, they debuted in cafes and tobacco shops. Some of the critics say they even show child pornography.
Here’s what Morano said on Tuesday on the RTL radio stations: “There are other ways of explaining to young people that cigarettes are addictive. Shocking people about tobacco doesn’t bother me, but there are other campaigns doing that.”But the anti-smoking group is disagreeing with the comments. The NSR said on the web page: “The first cigarette is often viewed as a rite of passage toward the adult world and an emancipation. The campaign seeks to reverse that impression and make people aware that smoking isn’t a defiance of authority, but instead a sign of submission and naiveté, a behavioral, psychological and physical submission to an addictive drug that will control their acts, dirty their bodies and cost them dearly.” This comes as a response to the fact that smoking has gotten lower to most age groups, but increased with 40 % on the 12 to 25 years old age group.
So, as sex sell and sends the message very good, NSR says that they used these images that they thought teenagers would find repulsive, when an elder manipulates a young woman to do his dirty bidding. How ever, this adds repels more that just people that would be smokers. Evryone on the smoking domain and even the owners of the bars and cafes where these posters have appeared are outraged by the explicit sexual content of these images.
A spokesman for the French affiliate of the British American Tobacco, Yves Trevilly, said that some one who works in the cigarette industry “could be compared to a rapist or a pedophile,” but the French Confederation of Tobacco Vendors say that the purpose of this commercial “no longer prevention, but uncalled-for provocation.”
But this is not the first controversial campaign on cigarettes by NSR, because late last year they released a report that said French people were increasingly flaunting anti-smoking laws in offices, trains and cafes.
In the mean time the fuss that was generated by the oral sex add shows that they’ve accomplished what they wanted to, they created a big issue on it. So that’s a good thing, as there are also other ads that could be seen as very controversial at the moments.
Like the ads for a proposed 47.5 billion dollars that the government has issued asking the taxpayers to approve and provide the stimulus investment for the infrastructure and businesses that have fallen afoul of feminists. These posters are showing Marianne, the Phrygian-bonneted symbol of the French Republic, barefoot, dressed in white and very pregnant.
The critics say that this send a very chauvinist message of women as a chaste, stay-at-home types who only have the role of providing their husbands with kids. Some of them even say the women are used for political purposes. A feminist blogger said on Le Feminin l’Emporte on February 18: “The hand of the state shouldn’t be in my uterus. And certainly not to look for money.”
The SNCF state railway has also gotten into troubles releasing a safety information ad posted in the trains from the southwestern part of France, telling passengers that they should be distrustful to Romanians.
The colored fliers say that the SNCF found “problems with Romanians” after “numerous thefts of luggage had been noticed” and they say “all acts by Romanians” should be reported.
The French author Mouloud Akkouch complained to the SNCF for this because he though it was the work of some pranksters. After wards he took the story to the media. But the SNCF didn’t stood by the story but they didn’t defend their side either.
A SNCF statement said: “This should not have happened. An internal inquiry is under way to determine how it occurred.”
Discriminators the French are, aren’t they?11